The feature night of racing, QStars, features all QBRED types, foals either born in the state or sired by Queensland-based stallions, so the entire 10-race card is dedicated to the Queensland breeding scene.
On the night, there was four Group 1 $150,000 Finals (for 2YO and 3YO pacers) while there’s also a pair of Listed $75,000 4YO Finals while 2023 also saw the introduction of two Group 2 $50,000 trotting features (2YO and 3YO) plus other support races.
The introduction of the trotting features was met with great anticipation while it’s another clear commitment from Racing Queensland about improving and developing the gait.
During the Constellations, RQ committed several new features to the carnival including the Group 1 $150,000 The Great Square, based loosely on the same design as the highly successful pacing feature, the Rising Sun.
And across the program, Queensland sires stood tall with great representation.
Leading the way was the ill-fated Hurrikane Kingcole (formerly based at Egmont Park) with nine starters while right behind was his former stud mate, Mr Feelgood, with seven.
Next in the pecking order was Art Major (six), Gotta Go Cullect (six – including a trotter), Captaintreacherous (five) then followed by Always B Miki, Bettors Delight and Changeover with four apiece.
So, both Egmont Park and Burwood Stud sires featured prominently.
And with the addition of Somerset Farms and Cobbitty Equine in recent times, the representation will only be further bolstered.
In a further boost for the locals, the bulk of the money remained within the state with the only interstate raider proving successful being the Bathurst-prepared Jewel Melody, who scored the Group 1 3YO Fillies Final.
Conditioned by widely respected horseman Bernie Hewitt, the star filly notched her fifth Group 1 victory following her excellent display downing Queensland Oaks-winner Torque Like Motion and Cheer Leader in the 2138m event.
The winning time was 1:58.1.
“It’s been a frustrating year for all of us involved with her, but to win this race means a lot so it was great relief. We bought her here in Brisbane and she’s been exceptional. We’re all very proud with what she’s achieved,” Hewitt said.